• DermTech International Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., entered a collaboration with researchers at the University of California at San Francisco, the Northern California Institute for Research and Education and the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco. The objectives of the agreement include the identification of therapeutics to treat certain skin disorders; formulations that will arrest or ameliorate the dermatological effects of aging; biomarkers involved in dermatological disorders and aging; and gene expression patterns predictive of patient responsiveness to drug treatment.

• MicroIslet Inc., of San Diego, said it will refocus its business strategy and seek to initiate xenograft clinical trials in locations outside of the U.S. The change is intended to quicken and reduce costs associated with developing and marketing its islet cell transplantation technologies for use in insulin-dependent diabetes. MicroIslet is shifting its attention away from previously planned allotransplantation trials in the U.S. It said that by focusing exclusively on xenotransplantation trials, it would be able to reduce operating expenses and shrink its present work force from 22 to 15 employees. MicroIslet also said Chairman John Hagenbuch agreed to lend the company an additional $1 million for working capital purposes.

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